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When you are staying in a Charleston beach house, food’s a big component of a successful vacation.

Speaking of which  –  Happy National Fried Chicken Day!  Yes, that is really a thing, and it’s today.  In honor of this momentous occasion, Harris-Teeter near our Isle of Palms vacation rentals is offering a whole bucket for just $4.99.  Talk about a great way to feed the folks in your beach house Charleston.

Here’s a link outlining all the specials at chicken places across the country, from the folks at Fortune Magazine.

Plenty of shopping options near your Charleston beach house

There’s nothing like gathering in the kitchen of your luxury house on Isle of Palms, family and friends all cooperating together to put a home-cooked meal on the table.  Luckily our luxury beach house rentals SC are conveniently outfitted with gourmet kitchens to do just that.

Thankfully, the Isle of Palms has its own full-service grocery store once again, as Harris-Teeter is in the spot that housed the old Red & White for decades.  There’s also an unbelievable abundance of grocery shopping options just over the IOP Connector in Mount Pleasant.   Just about every chain around is represented, and they are all a short drive from our beach house rentals Charleston SC.

With the acquisition of Piggly Wiggly Carolina, Mount Pleasant now boasts six large Harris-Teeters in Mount Pleasant alone (not counting those downtown or in West Ashley)… not to mention multiple Publix, Wal-Marts, BiLo,Trader Joe’s, Aldi and a Whole Foods.  And last but certainly not least – a brand new Costco (!) will be opening later this summer in Mount Pleasant.  It’s just up Highway 17 North, near Wando High School and an east drive from our SC vacation rentals.

So in other words, you’ll have plenty of convenient options when stocking one of our beach rentals Charleston.

Help the needy after your stay in a Charleston beach house

So there you are in your Charleston beach house.  You’ve had a glorious week full of sun, fun and merriment, and Saturday morning is here  –  time to check out.  Even though everyone seemed to eat to their heart’s content, there’s still a bunch of food left in the fridge, freezers and pantry.  You don’t really feel like schlepping it home in the car or heaven forbid, try to take it with you on the plane.

Well, a wonderful charitable option is available, thanks to the Isle of Palms Methodist Church.  It’s the pretty white church in the dog leg of the road, where 21st Avenue comes into Palm Boulevard… close to most of our Isle of Palms luxury rentals.  Their address is 12  21st Avenue.

Each Saturday morning until Labor Day, they collect any unopened food items you might have and distribute it to the local non-profit food bank, East Cooper Community Outreach (aka ECCO).  They call it Loaves and Fishes, named after Jesus’ famous miracle of feeding thousands of people with just five loaves and two fish.  

Not only do they take typical dry pantry items, they also take fruit, vegetables, bread and frozen foods.  Collection takes place in front of the church from 9:00 a.m. till 11:30 a.m. every Saturday till the end of the summer season.

Here’s a link to the church’s website:  http://iopmethodist.com/

So feel free to stock those rental homes South Carolina with groceries galore… and know that any extra won’t have to go to waste.  And remember to call EP and we’ll help you find the perfect Charleston beach house for your friends and family.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re headed here to stay in one of our Isle of Palms vacation rentals, you are not alone.  This is considered the peak of peak weeks for beach rentals Charleston.

If you’re driving to or around our SC vacation rentals, you are also enjoying the lowest gas prices in the nation, as I covered in this blog.

There is no shortage of nice ways to celebrate the July 4th holiday, officially happening tomorrow.  Most are within a convenient distance from all our luxury beach house rentals SC.  In fact, you’ll probably be able to see pyrotechnics from the decks and porches of your Charleston beach house.

Before we get to the fireworks, first up is a really neat way to show your patriotism and colors on July 4th, right on the sand of the shore.

This year marks the 9th anniversary of Salute from the Shore  –  where you can show your love of country while also being on the beach itself, just steps from all our Isle of Palms luxury rentals.

Salute from the Shore is a cool flyover of the South Carolina coastline by current and vintage U.S. military planes.   As always, the flyover will start at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 4th at Cherry Point, SC, just north of Myrtle Beach.  It’ll be led by two F-16s from the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base.  Vintage planes include privately owned aircraft.  This year, the lineup includes:

The planes will head down the coast and circle around Patriot’s Point in Mount Pleasant before continuing south past Hilton Head.  They’ll travel at different speeds, since the vintage aircraft tend to lag behind the F-16s.   But they will be visible along the coast between 1:00 and 2:00 p.m.  You should be able to see them from all our rental homes South Carolina.

You’re encouraged to show your colors and share your photos and videos.  Just email them to salute@salutefromtheshore.org  and tag images with #SalutefromtheShore.

Here’s the full scoop at the official website.

 

Fireworks near our Isle of Palms vacation rentals

Fireworks displays will take place all over the area, so you’ll have an overchoice, really.

Charleston/Mount Pleasant  – 

Fireworks will be shot off a barge in the harbor after the sun sets, in what’s officially known as the “4th of July Fireworks Blast.”  Great views abound on both sides of the harbor.

Patriot’s Point will again open the flight decks of the USS Yorktown, which is probably the best view of all.  You can watch for free from the land (parking $10), or if you want to be on deck, there are two options including VIP tickets, but as of this blog onboard spots are all sold out.

Over at the Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park, there’s a special “Uncle Sam Jam” happening out on the pier  –  also a great location to watch the fireworks.  There will be live music by Ellen Drive, hand-spun milkshakes and fresh sandwiches at the Riverwatch Café.  Gates open at 7:00 and the music starts at 8:00.  Advanced ticket purchase is recommended as it will no doubt sell out fast, and tickets are limited.  $8 advance, $10 at the door, if any are left.  Kids three and under are free.  See details here.

Also, July 4th is a home game for the Charleston Riverdogs.   A great option is to head out to the Joe to take in America’s favorite pastime while munching on an all-American hot dog.  There will be a fireworks display after the game.  The Joe is a beautiful stadium located at 360 Fishburne Street downtown, an easy drive from your beach house Charleston.  Here’s more on the schedule.

 

Fireworks on the beaches…

Isle of Palms

The fun starts around 8:00 p.m. near Front Beach.  The City will launch fireworks from the Isle of Palms pier after dark.

Just a quick reminder  –  individual fireworks are prohibited on the Isle of Palms.  So if you are in a luxury house on Isle of Palms, leave the hassle to others and just watch the official town show.

Sullivan’s Island

They celebrate the 4th all day, starting with the annual bike and golf cart parade from 8:30 – 9:00 a.m., a community cookout and picnic at 6:00 p.m.  It’s at Stith Park playground next to the firehouse in “downtown” Sullivan’s.  There will be live music by Permanent Vacation (beach music and classic rock) with a fireworks display when it gets dark.

Folly Beach

They’ll shoot off fireworks from the beach at Third Block West, beginning about 9:30.

 

So happy birthday, America.  And remember to call Exclusive for the best in beach house rentals Charleston SC, namely Isle of Palms vacation rentals.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

 

We’re fast approaching the peakest of the peak week for SC vacation rentals.  Fourth of July is prime time to be in one of our Isle of Palms luxury rentals.  There will be plenty of fireworks displays and patriotic fun near your Charleston beach house on the day itself, Wednesday.  I’ll cover that in the next blog.

But the weekend before has a lot going on as well.  More about that in a minute.

First up, there is a bit of good news on the gas front.

Gas prices near our rental homes South Carolina are often in the news.  And the reason is a good one.  They are among the lowest in the country.

 

Yet another reason to choose one of our SC vacation rentals

Gas prices have been on quite a ride these past few years.  Check out the average prices per gallon of regular unleaded in South Carolina for the week of June 25th of the last five years:

So far this year, prices at the pump have taken a rise again.  However, nationally the average price dropped six cents during the last two weeks, landing at $2.95.  That’s the first price drop in four months.

Here in South Carolina, the price per gallon fell four cents from just last week.

Where is the lowest gas price in the contiguous 48 states?  Charleston, SC.  The average here is $2.44 a gallon.

The highest is in the Bay Area around San Francisco, coming in at a whopping $3.79 per gallon.

Even if you fly to your luxury house on Isle of Palms, chances are you’ll still be driving around the Lowcountry in a rental or maybe a friend’s or family member’s car.  Lowest gas prices in the country – yet another great reason to choose beach rentals Charleston for your summer vacay.

To track down the lowest price near your beach house Charleston, check out the handy app by Live 5 News.  It shows the latest local news and weather as well as the lowest gas prices in the Lowcountry, available for iPhone and Android.  They also have a gas price feature on their website.

And here’s more on the story from Live 5 News.

 

Pre Fourth events near our SC vacation rentals

There are a couple fun things going on this weekend near our luxury beach house rentals SC.

Friday (tonight):  Party at the Point –  the official season finale featuring live music by Sol Driven Train and Fusion Jonez (jazz/funk fusion).

 

Sunday:  Fourth Annual Stars & Guitars concert  –  Boone Hall Plantation

Read more in the Post & Courier about these two events and others going on this weekend.

 

So remember, when you are looking for beach house rentals Charleston SC  –  namely Isle of Palms vacation rentals, contact EP.  We have the best ones around.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

 

 

 

 

Of course when you and your loved ones come to stay in one of our beach rentals Charleston, like a luxury house on Isle of Palms, one of the main draws is the BEACH itself.

Most of our luxury beach house rentals SC are either oceanfront or right close to it.  You can enjoy the beach just by sitting on your porch or looking out the window, or by heading out the door and sticking your toes in the sand.

Having a clean beach is vital to both visitors and locals alike, not to mention perhaps most of all, the many species of wildlife that call it home.  Our beaches are one of the most valuable resources near SC vacation rentals.

Unfortunately it’s usually we two-legged critters who are the ones who mess it up with litter and pollution of all sorts.  Paper, plastic bags, glass bottles, beach furniture, beach toys, tires, cigarette butts, food wrappers, cans, pieces of Styrofoam coolers can all wreak havoc on wildlife and detract from the natural beauty of our beaches and waterways.

IOP takes a bold step to help keep the beaches clean 

In an effort to combat that, the Isle of Palms took a major step forward when it became the first municipality in the state to ban the use of plastic bags in local businesses.  They vote was unanimous (8-0) a couple years back.  So when you go into Harris-Teeter for groceries to stock your beach house Charleston, you won’t be asked the question, “Paper or plastic?”  You’ll be taking the groceries back to your Charleston beach house in a paper bag  –  unless you did one step better for the planet, and brought your own reusable shopping bag.

Other cities have followed suit, including Folly Beach and most recently Mount Pleasant.  The state legislature is trying to ban such bans, but IOP, Folly, Hilton Head and Surfside Beach are all grandfathered in.

 

Sweep the Beach near our beach rentals Charleston…

In an effort to combat the problem of litter on the beaches and waterways, the Sea Grant Consortium created a statewide event in 1988 called the Beach Sweep/River Sweep South Carolina.  It’s taken place every year since, on the third Saturday of September, and is coming up again this fall.

But the problem of litter on the beach is an ongoing one, especially during the peak season for Isle of Palms vacation rentals.  One beach clean up a year is just not enough.

 

July 5th Morning Beach Clean Up

As a result, two different summertime sweeps are happening.  One is a one-time event sponsored by the IOP Police Department.  It’s set to happen on July 5th, the day after the biggest single day on the beach, people-wise.

There will be free parking at the IOP County Park, as well as supplies and water.  You’re encouraged to bring a reusable water bottle.  It’ll happen from 6:00 a.m. till 10:00 a.m.  You can stay as long as you like, or drop by as time permits to lend a hand.

Find out more at the IOPPD Facebook page.

 

Weekly Monday Evening Beach Clean Ups

A group of local citizens has banded together to form a weekly beach clean up during the prime summer months for rental homes South Carolina, when the beaches are the most visited.

It’s called the Isle of Palms Cleanup Crew.  They just had their first clean up yesterday  –  Monday, June 25th.

Here are the details.

Here’s a report from Live 5 News, with a video of some of the participants and what trash they found.

Here’s more on the story, “A Twist on Trash Pickup,”  from the Island Eye News.

So consider taking part in a beach cleanup, either with one of those groups or on your own.  And when you are looking for beach house rentals Charleston SC, namely Isle of Palms luxury rentals, call EP.  We’ll find the perfect Charleston beach house for you.  On a clean beach.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

 

 

 

 

“That Summer Book Sale” is an ideal way to fill your luxury house on Isle of Palms with great summer reading for all ages.  It kicked off this morning and goes through the weekend.  More about that in a minute.

This is a great weekend to be in a beach house Charleston.  There’s a lot going on, including a relatively new event happening tomorrow.  It’s proven to be so popular that tickets sell out fast.  VIP tickets are already gone.  So if you’re interested, you’d better act fast  –  just like if you’re interested in one of our luxury beach house rentals SC.

It’s called RumFest, and is quite the celebration of all things rum.  Shiver me timbers!  Get set for:

It’ll happen tomorrow  –  Saturday, June 23rd – from 7:00 till 11:00 p.m. at Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain Street in downtown Charleston.  That’s an easy drive from all our SC vacation rentals.  Figure about 30 minutes from our Isle of Palms luxury  rentals.

Read all about it and get tickets at the official website.

 

Fill your luxury house on Isle of Palms with good books at great prices

One of the most popular things to do while staying in a Charleston beach house is to a read a book.  Sure, there are more high-tech ways to enjoy a novel  –  kindle, smartphone, iPad, tablets of all sorts  –  but sand and electronics don’t usually mix very well.

When it comes right down to it, it’s hard to beat flipping the paper pages of a really engrossing story while taking in the sunshine and all its good vitamin D… either on the beach or while lounging on the deck of a luxury house on Isle of Palms.

If you’re in one of our Isle of Palms vacation rentals this weekend, there’s a great opportunity to stock up your summer reading material  –  at a great price, and for a great cause.  It’s the Charleston County Library’s annual summer book sale.

“That Summer Book Sale,” as it’s known, boasts a huge assortment  –  as in, 20,000 titles.  Included are fiction and nonfiction, paper and hardback, children’s books, CDs, DVDs and audio books, with prices starting at just $1.00 (and only 50 cents for children’s books).  They accept cash, checks or credit cards, and proceeds go toward helping the public library do its good work for the community.

The sale takes place at the main, massive library branch downtown.  It’s located at 68 Calhoun Street, a pleasant drive from all our rental homes South Carolina.

It’s going on today until 5:30 p.m., tomorrow (Saturday, June 23rd) from 9:00 a.m. till 5:30 p.m., then again on Sunday afternoon from 2:00 till 4:00.  There will be special pricing on Sunday, when you can really score some deals.   Admission is free.

Here’s a link with more info.

 

Celebrate Carolina Day near your luxury house on Isle of Palms

June 28th is a big day in South Carolina history… actually, in “American” history, even though the source of the celebration pre-dates the Declaration of Independence by several days.

On June 28, 1776, patriots from the Carolinas and Virginia  —  even though they were outmanned 10 to one — turned back the British forces (the Royal Navy and the British Army under Cornwallis) who were trying to take the Fort Sullivan on Sullivan’s Island, and thus Charleston.   It was the first time that American colonists decisively defeated the British in their fight for independence.   It gave a gigantic boost to the whole push for independence and ended up keeping Britain from gaining a stronghold in South Carolina for another four years.

This victory is officially celebrated as CAROLINA DAY.  Thursday will mark the 242nd year since this incredibly important battle in our nation’s past.  Official commemorations of the holiday began all the way back in 1777.  So Carolina Day was one of America’s original holidays, even though many folks (visitors and locals alike) still don’t know all that much about it.

Leave it to Carolinians to make United States history even before we were officially a country!

How Carolina Day became a thing

It was June 28th, 1776.  Nine British warships were swarming in off the coastline, trying to gain a foothold in the American colonies.

But the 2nd South Carolina Regiment under command of Colonel William Moultrie had other ideas.  They positioned themselves at Fort Sullivan on Sullivan’s Island, and they didn’t want to give up their precious turf.  Though ridiculously outnumbered and outgunned, they battled the Royal Navy and British Army and heroically turned back the assault from ocean, mainland and the Isle of Palms.

Moultrie’s victory was the first in the patriots’ fight for independence, and it gave a major boost the idea that these little upstart colonists had a chance against the mighty land of England and their powerful military forces.

No wonder Carolina Day became a holiday.  Colonel Moultrie became the namesake for the fort on Sullivan’s Island, which is now well known as Fort Moultrie, and later went on to become a two-time governor of South Carolina.  Fort Moultrie is now part of the National Park Service, as a unit of Fort Sumter National Monument.

This weekend’s commemorations

So this weekend  –  both Saturday, June 23rd and Sunday the 24th  –  is the official local celebration, based at Fort Moultrie (1214 Middle Street on Sullivan’s Island).  It’s just over Breach Inlet from all our beach rentals Charleston.   Admission will be free to Fort Moultrie, along with programs of events and activities from 10:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m. Saturday and 10:00 a.m. till 1:00 p.m. Sunday.  Events include reenactments by the 2nd South Carolina regiment, medical demonstrations, demos on weapons, every day camp life and living conditions of the patriot soldiers, and musket drills.  Activities are kid friendly and appropriate for all ages staying in your luxury house on Isle of Palms.

So grab a book, some rum and celebrate Carolina Day just over Breach Inlet from your luxury house on Isle of Palms.  And when you are shopping for beach house rentals Charleston SC, begin and end your search by calling EP.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

The City Market “Night Market” is in full swing near our SC vacation rentals, and this week’s is a special one.  More about that in a minute.

First up, a quick reminder that tonight is yet another installment of the popular Party in the Park free concert.  This is the 8th annual series, of really terrific live music every Tuesday in June.

The venue is awesome  –  Memorial Waterfront Park in Mount Pleasant, located under the Ravenel Bridge.  It’s an easy drive from all our Isle of Palms luxury rentals.  It’s also family friendly fun for all ages in your beach house Charleston.

Each concert features three different musical acts.  Tonight’s lineup:

It’s sponsored by 103.5 WEZL Radio, a great station to listen to while in one of our beach rentals Charleston.

Read more here, or in this blog.

 

Special Night Market back again near our SC vacation rentals

Also going on this Thursday, June 21st is a special evening installment of a Charleston icon, the historic City Market.

Located between East Bay and Meeting Street, it’s a great place to find the perfect souvenir from your stay in a Charleston beach house.  There’s a plethora of unusual local products, handmade Lowcountry items (including the ever-popular sweetgrass basket), lovely jewelry, you name it.  It really is one of the Charleston must-dos for folks who come and stay in one of our beach house rentals Charleston SC.

City Market underwent a major renovation a while back, and now it’s better than ever.  The lower two buildings are still open-air.  They completely enclosed and climate-controlled the building closest to Meeting Street and upped the quality of the permanent vendors there.

Well, now that warm weather is here, the Night Market is officially back in season, on Friday and Saturday nights from 6:30 till 10:30 p.m. every weekend.  It’s a festive atmosphere with live music and an evening vibe, in the buildings between Church Street and East Bay.  It’s a pleasant drive from our Isle of Palms vacation rentals and a great place to visit before or after dinner out at one of downtown’s many terrific restaurants.

An extra long weekend market this weekend…

This weekend, though, they’re adding a couple extra nights of Night Market fun.  They’re calling it June 21st – June 24th (Thursday through Sunday): A Four Night Weekend Celebrating Local Artisans.  There will be live music and plenty of entertainment sprinkled throughout.

It kicks off at 7:00 p.m. this Thursday evening with a special ceremony hosted by Mayor John Tecklenburg.  There will be an awards presentation at 8:30.  He’ll be handing out special tiles with the City Market seal, to recognize honorees, artisans and merchants selling certified local products that are 100% made in the Lowcountry.  When you’re shopping the market, be sure to look for these tiles to make sure you are purchasing authentic Lowcountry items.

At the end of the ceremony, Mayor Tecklenburg will tickle the ivories along with The TenCap Jazz Band.  David Calhoun will also provide live entertainment.

By the way, you can feel especially good about the things you purchase there.  In a past survey, almost 94% of night vendors and 72% of day vendors make goods with material that is either natural (for example: sweetgrass, shells or wood), reclaimed or recycled.  They really make a unique gift option that is unique to the region and a wonderful reminder of your stay in one of our rental homes South Carolina.

Read all about it at their official site.

 

So check out some great live music and shop for local items at City Market near your luxury house on Isle of Palms.  And when you are in the market for SC vacation rentals, namely luxury beach house rentals SC, be sure to call EP.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

 

Photo credit: Charleston City Market

 

 

 

Word to the wise: book one of our beach house rentals Charleston SC as far in advance as possible.

First off, we’re in the prime time of the year, when luxury beach house rentals SC are bustling with folks flocking to the coast.

Hopefully you reserved your Charleston beach house well in advance.  As word spreads about how fantastic Charleston and the beaches of the Lowcountry are, our SC vacation rentals —  namely, Isle of Palms vacation rentals  — book up sooner and sooner.

If you’re looking for a luxury house on Isle of Palms, you’ve really got to act fast.

Second, you can add this to the mix.  Charleston just landed atop another “best of” list.

The travel gurus at Expedia made a list of “The 55 Most Breathtaking Destinations in the World.”  It was part of their via their Viewfinder travel blog.

Although they claim the destinations are in no particular order, guess who is listed first?

You got it.  Charleston.

This is what they had to say about the Holy City:

From its peaceful waterfront parks and pineapple-shaped fountains to jaw-dropping manor houses, Charleston has charm to spare. Built in 1676, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is just one of Charleston’s enchanting estates, where the white columns of the plantation house offer elegant contrast to Spanish moss growing wild in the trees. When the ocean calls your name, walk to the waterfront at Battery Park, named for the cannons lined up at attention looking out to sea.

You can see the whole list here.

The Holy City of Hospitality

Book one of our beach house rentals Charleston SC.  It’ll take your breath away!

Due to all the positive press lately, beach rentals Charleston are more popular than ever.  If you are interested in rental homes South Carolina, there are a lot of companies out there.  It pays to look around and do your homework about the right beach house Charleston.  Exclusive Properties has been in the biz a good while, and we know the best in luxury beach house rentals SC.

So check out one of the most breathtaking destinations on earth.  And there’s nowhere better to stay than one of our beach house rentals Charleston SC.  Just call EP and we’ll put you in one of our Isle of Palms luxury rentals – as long as you call early enough ahead of time.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

 

 

 

What vacation in a Charleston beach house is complete without a meal of those cute curled crustaceans?

Shrimp is one of those foods that makes people happy and really rounds out the beach experience.  When you come to the coast to stay in one of our beach rentals Charleston, you can’t help but crave some seafood.

Great seafood options near your Charleston beach house

Seems like you can’t throw a rock nowadays without hitting a restaurant that sells great seafood.  Countless options exist near all our beach house rentals Charleston SC.  If you’re in one of our Isle of Palms vacation rentals, you don’t even have to leave the island.  Long Island Café, next to Harris-Teeter, has been around for decades and has some really delicious shrimp and other fruits of the sea.  Other good choices are The Boathouse at Breach Inlet (great views), Acme Lowcountry Kitchen, Coda del Pesce, and Morgan Creek Grill (more great views at the marina).  They’re sure to please all ages staying in your beach house Charleston.

This year’s shrimp season has been delayed this year due to the cold winter.  Normally it would have begun about a month ago near our SC vacation rentals, around the time of the Blessing of the Fleet.  Recreational shrimpers eagerly await the go-ahead to fill their coolers with some of the most delicious crustaceans known to man (or woman).  Local catch is prized by restaurant chefs and Lowcountry home cooks alike.

According to this article in the Post & Courier, they are hoping to get the green light as soon as tomorrow.  Read more about it here.

Most recreational shrimping is done from an open flat boat at night, since that’s when shrimp move in to feed in shallow, murky water.  The most common technique involves setting poles to mark a spot, throwing bait balls made of fish meal mixed with mud or clay, waiting a short while for the word to get out, then casting nets into the area to catch the shrimp as they feed.

About a half million pounds of shrimp are caught each year by this baiting technique.

Other options to get seafood near your Charleston beach house

If catching them yourself is not your cup of tea, you can still experience shrimp season.  Head to Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant (on Coleman Boulevard, along the way from Isle of Palms to Charleston).   There you can see commercial shrimp trawlers and the dolphins that often follow them.  Several seafood restaurants line the creek, including Red’s Ice House, where you can even dine al fresco on the deck with your canine friend.

Buy fresh caught shrimp at Wando Shrimp Company, a tucked-away favorite of locals, at 102 Haddrell Street.  The shrimp is excellent, as are the prices.

While there, be sure to cross the creek to experience one of the best new parks in the area, the incredibly beautiful Shem Creek Park.  Piers, boardwalks and docks stretch across the marsh and extend all the way towards Charleston harbor, offering great views previously only seen by boaters or birds.  The park cost almost $9 million to develop and opened a few years back to rave reviews.

Again, you don’t even have to leave the IOP to purchase fresh seafood.  Simmons Seafood is located just down the street from your luxury house on Isle of Palms, at 1400 Palm Boulevard.  They are family owned and have been around since 1947.  Harris-Teeter also has a perfectly respectable seafood market.

Once you get back to your luxury rental home at the beach, why not prepare your fresh shrimp by trying out one of the Lowcountry’s classic signature dishes  –  Shrimp & Grits.

Here is chef Robert Stehling’s recipe from Hominy Grill, the popular restaurant on Rutledge Avenue in downtown Charleston.  FYI, if you are heading downtown from one of our luxury beach house rentals SC, Hominy Grill is a great breakfast/lunch/brunch option.  They even serve breakfast all day.  Portions are large and luscious.  Think sweet potato waffles, pimento cheese biscuits, and pork belly grit bowls.

Shrimp & Grits recipe to make in your Charleston beach house

Prepare the creamy grits “base” first.  While they are simmering, you can prepare the shrimp topping.

4 c water

¾ t salt

1 T butter  –  Mix together and bring to boil in a heavy saucepan.  Stir in:

1 c coarse white stone-ground grits

Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring frequently till thick, about 15 minutes.

½ c whole milk  –  Stir into the above.  Simmer on low, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.

½ c whole milk  –  Stir in and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes till thick.

¼ t pepper

1 T butter  –  stir in and keep on the stove, warm, till ready to serve.

The Shrimp Part:

3 slices bacon – Fry till crisp.  Remove from pan; pour off all but 1 T of fat.

1 lb. fresh shrimp  –  peeled & deveined.

2 T flour  –  Toss raw shrimp in flour till lightly coated.

2 T peanut oil – Add to bacon pan & heat to medium-high.  Add shrimp and sauté till half-cooked.

1 ¼ cups sliced mushrooms  –  Add & toss into the above.  When they begin to cook, add in:

1 large garlic clove, chopped  –  add, but don’t let it brown.  Stir in crumbled bacon.  Then quickly add in:

Tabasco to taste

2 t fresh lemon juice  –  Stir in quickly.  Cook till shrimp are pink on both sides and mushrooms are golden brown.  Add water to make a light gravy.  Season with salt, then add:

½ c sliced green onions

Remove from heat.  Spoon shrimp mixture over prepared grits.  Serve immediately.

So enjoy shrimp in your Charleston beach house  –  local shrimp if possible.  And remember, when you are looking for rental homes South Carolina, namely Isle of Palms luxury rentals, to call EP.  We can put you in the perfect Charleston beach house.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

 

 

Well, we’re coming up on the final weekend of Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto, and there’s a ton of fun going on near our Isle of Palms luxury rentals.  Each year this festival seems to fly by with its whirlwind of cultural events.

Most take place on and around the downtown peninsula.  It’s an easy drive from all our SC vacation rentals, namely a beach house Charleston.

But if you’re here staying in one of our Isle of Palms vacation rentals, the festival is coming to you.  This weekend is the official Piccolo Spoleto Sand Sculpting Contest on the IOP, and it kicks off at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning – Saturday, June 9th.  Just head out of your luxury house on Isle of Palms and walk, bike or golf cart over to Front Beach to check out the fun.

Believe it or not, this marks the 30th annual installment of the competition.  They award a lot of great prizes, not to mention the much-coveted bragging rights.   It’s a very family-friendly event, and if you’re here in a Charleston beach house with a group of friends and loved ones, you just might want to enter a team of up to four people and give it a whirl.     Prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each category:

Adult’s event (Ages 21 and older)

Family event (At least one adult & one young adult or child)

Young Adult’s event (Ages 15 – 20)

Children’s event (Ages 14 and under)

Best Architectural

Most Creative

Best in Show (Overall)

Entries do get pretty creative, and it’s always a lot of fun to watch the designs develop and unfold from the sands of the island.

You can register online at the IOP’s website (see below for link), or in person starting at 8:30 tomorrow morning at the event.  It will last till about noon.

Here’s a list of last year’s winners:

2017 Winners

BEST OF CHILDREN’S
1ST – SITE Q – FISHING FLY
2ND – SITE V – MOANA
3RD – SITE R – SAVE THE SEA TURTLES
BEST OF YOUNG ADULTS
1ST – SITE M – RAINBOW ROW
2ND – SITE H – ALABASTER ALLIGATOR
3RD – SITE K – SAND-WITCH
BEST OF FAMILY
1ST – SITE 35 – KAYAK ATTACK
2ND – SITE 27 – GOD BLESS AMERICA
3RD – SITE 33 – LUCY
MOST CREATIVE
1ST – SITE 24 – BEE KIND
2ND – SITE 29 – PICKLE-O SPOLETO
3RD – SITE 16 – CAPTAIN SPOLETOPANTS
BEST ARCHITECTURAL
1ST – SITE 8 – ANGORA WHAT? (DRIP CASTLE)
2ND – SITE 9 – LIGHTHOUSE
3RD – SITE 34 – OLD FORT
BEST OF ADULTS
1ST – SITE 21 – BEACH BUGGY
2ND – SITE 23 – BUBBLE TROUBLE
3RD – SITE 10 – BONE FISH
BEST OF SHOW – OVERALL
SITE 19 – R.I.P. TONY

It’s always a hoot to see what people come up with.  Here’s the official website with more info and online registration.  Here’s a link to the registration form.   And here’s a list of the official rules.

So if you’re heading here to a luxury house on Isle of Palms, gather everybody up and give it a go.

 

Festival finales this weekend near our Isle of Palms luxury rentals

Both Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto have their finale celebrations this weekend.  First up is Piccolo.

The Piccolo Finale is happening tomorrow night (Saturday June 9th).  This is a great free event downtown that’ll have excellent music in a family-friendly setting.  There will be plenty of food and drinks available for purchase, plus lots of fun booths to check out.  It’ll go on from 5:00 p.m. till 10:00 p.m. Like the sand sculpting competition, it would be perfect for all ages staying in our beach rentals Charleston.

Music will be provided by:

Food trucks on site will include:

There will also be an Italian market complete with wine and beer, gelato, cheese, bread and chocolate.

Kids’ activities include Field Day Games, giant inflatables, Bubble Zone and steampunk interactive station.

It’ll take place near the lake in the beautiful Hampton Park downtown, north of the Crosstown and near the Citadel.  If you’re using a GPS, it’s 30 Mary Murray Boulevard in Charleston.  It’s also a convenient drive from all our luxury beach house rentals SC.

You’re encouraged to bring chairs or blankets, and leashed dogs are welcome.  There will be a designated section for coolers.

Here’s a video of what to expect.

 

 

Spoleto Finale in a new venue, not far from our Isle of Palms luxury rentals

The mainline Spoleto festival finale will take place Sunday evening.  In the past, it’s always been located at Middleton Place, west of the Ashley.   But this year they are switching it up.  It’ll be happening at the Joe, home of the Riverdogs, with less emphasis on tailgating/picnicking and more on entertainment.

Tickets are required, and the finale is always a popular event.

Here are the specs:

Joseph P. Riley Park (aka The Joe) is located at 360 Fishburne Street in Charleston.  It’s a pleasant drive from all our beach house rentals Charleston SC.  There is ample parking in adjacent lots.

So enjoy the last weekend of Spoleto.  And remember, when you are in the market for rental homes South Carolina, namely luxury beach house rentals SC, call Exclusive Properties.  Our Isle of Palms luxury rentals are finale-worthy.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

A couple super summer series are cranking up again for the season near our SC vacation rentals.

They’re family fun for all ages staying in your Charleston beach house.  They also take place in the middle of the week (Tuesdays and Wednesdays), smack dab in the middle of your week in one of our Isle of Palms luxury rentals.

If you’ll be staying in one of our SC vacation rentals during the month of June, there’s a fun concert series kicking off tonight, in one of the Lowcountry’s best parks.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll likely say it again.  To me, one of the signs of a great place to live – or visit – is the quality of local parks.  There is no doubt that Charleston, and the Lowcountry in general, is blessed with some of the nicest ones anywhere.

The Charleston County park system is thriving and operates terrific ones around the area.  These include beach parks on the IOP, super close to all our Isle of Palms vacation rentals, as well as on Kiawah (Beachwalker) and Folly, not too far from our beach rentals Charleston.  Palmetto Island County Park in Mount Pleasant is a great place to take your kids (cool playground and water park) or dog (terrific off-leash dog agility park), or to rent a bike or a paddleboat.  It’s convenient to all our rental homes South Carolina.  Just head over the IOP Connector, pass Boone Hall Plantation, cross the creek and turn right.

Well, one of the most popular relatively new area parks is the Memorial Waterfront Park in Mount Pleasant.  It’s located under the Ravenel Bridge and includes a 1,250-foot pier that offers great views and fishing, to boot.

It’s also become a popular venue for special events.  Cases in point: the very popular Shaggin’ on the Cooper dance parties I covered in this previous blog, or the Sweetgrass Festival I covered last time.

Party in the Park near our SC vacation rentals

This month marks the 8th Annual Party in the Park, a summer series of free concerts plus vendors that takes place every Tuesday evening in June.  It was designed to follow and dovetail with the weekly Mount Pleasant Farmer’s Market.

Party in the Park is sponsored by radio station WEZL 103.5 FM, and it goes on from 6:00 p.m. till 9:00 p.m., rain or shine, every Tuesday of the month.  Here’s their official page: http://www.wezl.com/features/party-in-the-park-683/

Following is the lineup for this summer’s concerts:

JUNE 6th (TONIGHT!) – Headliner Chase Rice, who’s been nominated for Academy of Country Music and CMT Music Awards, as well as country star Jimmy Allen and alt country Souther rock singer/songwriter Eddie Bush;
2) JUNE 12th  — High Valley, Travis Denning, and Mitchell Lee;
3) JUNE 19th  — Maddie & Tae, Mitchell Tenpenny and Lauren Hall;
4) JUNE 26th  — Carly Pearce, Trent Harmon and Haley Mae Campbell.

Admission and parking are free, although onsite parking is fairly limited, so get there early.  You can also check out shuttle service on their website.  You may bring lawn chairs and blankets, but they request that you leave coolers, dogs, umbrellas and tents at home.  Food and beverage vendors and an ATM will be available on site.

As usual, the official after party will be at Red’s Ice House on Shem Creek.  Remember to use a designated driver to get back to your beach house Charleston if you enjoy adult beverages.

Memorial Waterfront Park is a convenient drive from all our beach house rentals Charleston SC.  Here’s more on the event itself as well as other goings-on at the park, which they refer to as “Mount Pleasant’s Crown Jewel.”

 

Films on Folly, near our SC vacation rentals

Another thing that says SUMMER is seeing a movie.  Well, thanks to the folks at the Tides on Folly Beach, you can do both things at once.

They’ve put together a fun summer movie series where they’ll be showing free films ON THE BEACH ITSELF.  It takes place Wednesday nights starting tomorrow, June 7th through the summer.

See the graphic above for the Beach Movie Night 2018 Schedule.  Showtimes begin at sundown behind the Tides Folly Beach and are wind & weather permitting.  “Finding Dory” was put off last week due to weather, so the series will kick off tonight with the true classic, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

Here’s a link to their Facebook page.

And remember  –  when you’re looking for SC vacation rentals, namely luxury beach house rentals SC, contact us.  We’ll put you in the perfect luxury house on Isle of Palms.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger